Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vladimir Mayakovsky - Take that!
















In about an hour into a tidy alley 
flabby fat of yours will leak from here one by one.
I opened to you my poems treasure trove bravely
I, the prized words profligate and prodigal.

Hey you, sir, your mustache still has some cabbage  
caught from a soup half-eaten somewhere and left over. 
And you, madam, with the caked-up makeup lacquer,
you look like an oyster from the clamshell of your clothes. 

The butterfly of the poet’s heart you all scale gladly
dragging your filth no matter if you wear galoshes or not.
The mob goes berserk, begins brushing wayward,
like a hundred-head louse it’ll bristle its props.

And what if today I, the crude Hun and misfit,
refuse to clown dodging  my inevitable fate, 
I will laugh out loud and gleefully spit
spit in your face
I, the prized words prodigal and profligate.

1913


Translated by Dina Belyayeva

Russian original

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Marina Tsvetaeva - From a Mirror

Marina Tsvetaeva and her husband, Sergey Efron
* * *
I’d like to pry your journey path,
Your station, terminus
From an obscure mirror depth
In slumber fogginess.

I glimpse a tall ship and its mast,
You’re standing on the deck...
You’re on a train, in smoking cars
The fields rue at sunset...

The evening fields are wet with dew
Crows circle up above...
Unwilling I let go of you -
May God bless where you are!


1914


Translated by Dina Belyayeva

Russian Original

As popularized in the 1970s Soviet-era romcom

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Anna Akhmatova - How Can You



* * *
How can You view the Neva like that,
How dare You scale the bridges just so?
People think I’m remarkably sad
Since your vision could not let me go.
Razor sharp wings of black angels flew,
Judgement Day is approaching soon,
And bonfires of raspberry hue,
In the snow like roses bloom.

1914

Translated by Dina Belyayeva

Russian original

Biography

Friday, August 2, 2013

Vladimir Mayakovsky - So Could You?



At once I smeared the map of boredom
By spilling pigments from a tumbler;
I formed an oceans’ jagged cheekbones
Atop the crest of aspic platter.
I read the summons of fresh youth
on rusty glint of fish scale tin.
So could you 
take 
a drainpipe flute
and play a nocturne on a whim?

1913


Translated by Dina Belyayeva

The original audio recording in Russian

Russian original

Biography